Center for Strategic Communication


Security vs. Liberty: The Discourse on Terrorism in the United States and Morocco and Its Societal Effects

by Valentina Bartolucci, CSC Visiting Fellow

Pre-press open access here.

Abstract: This article first analyzes some of the main features of the political discourse on terrorism interlinked with the counterterrorism discourse as first instantiated under the Bush administration. It then focuses on the appropriation of the US-led discourse by the Moroccan government as well as on some of its major effects, going beyond the formulation and acceptance of the counterterrorism strategy known as the War on Terror. Its main aim is to contribute to further opening a critical space of reflection in seeing terrorism primarily as a discourse and to underline some of the effects deriving from the appropriation of the discourse. The focus will be especially on the furthering of domestic agendas as well as the targeting of certain individuals and groups in the name of security. To do so, this article seeks to go beyond an analysis of the effects of the discourse limited to the military and legal aspects to focus on wider societal effects. It thus locates itself in the wider debate on the tradeoff between security and liberty, and in particular on the issues democracies face when dealing with matters of security.

jssMedia Use and Source Trust among Muslims in Seven Countries: Results of a Large Random Sample Survey

by Steven R. Corman and Steven Hitchcock

Scholar Commons open-access available here.

Abstract: Despite the perceived importance of media in the spread of and resistance against Islamist extremism, little is known about how Muslims use different kinds of media to get information about religious issues, and what sources they trust when doing so. This paper reports the results of a large, random sample survey among Muslims in seven countries Southeast Asia, West Africa and Western Europe, which helps fill this gap. Results show a diverse set of profiles of media use and source trust that differ by country, with overall low trust in mediated sources of information. Based on these findings, we conclude that mass media is still the most common source of religious information for Muslims, but that trust in mediated information is low overall. This suggests that media are probably best used to persuade opinion leaders, who will then carry anti-extremist messages through more personal means.